Menkes Breaks Ground on Waterfront Innovation Centre on Toronto Waterfront
The groundbreaking marks the first construction milestone of a 400,000-sq.-ft complex designed by architects Sweeny & Co, which will be comprised of two buildings, with three distinct but interconnected components: The Exchange, The Hive and The Nexus, a space that will serve as a public square and directly connect the two buildings.
Located in East Bayfront, adjacent to Canada’s Sugar Beach, the Waterfront Innovation Centre anchors Toronto’s surging innovation cluster on the eastern waterfront, representing the next evolution in workplace design that helps reinvent how today’s workforce collaborates in the city’s burgeoning creative and technology sectors.
The milestone represents another step in the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront. The complex will not only drive economic development with the creation of nearly 3,000 jobs, but also help to shape East Bayfront into a beautiful new neighbourhood where people can live, work and play.
“This is a one-of-a-kind commercial office complex that will redefine how innovative market leading companies conduct their business in our city,” says Peter Menkes, president of Menkes’ commercial/industrial division.
“The Waterfront Innovation Centre will be a cutting edge, collaborative work environment that responds to the changing needs of the workplace and the demand for high quality office space.”
Menkes has more than 60 years of history in residential and commercial development in Toronto. “It is the city we live in, we build in and we are truly passionate about,” says Menkes.
SUGAR WHARF COMMUNITY
Among the company’s more than 25 million sq. ft. of office and industrial space in the GTA is the recently opened One York Street in Toronto’s South Core, an office building that overlooks the water and is home to the headquarters of Sun Life Financial. In addition, in January, Menkes broke ground at 100 Queens Quay, a new office tower just west of the Waterfront Innovation Centre. That project signifies the first phase of Sugar Wharf, an upcoming waterfront community on an 11.5-acre site which will be anchored by a two-acre park.
The Waterfront Innovation Centre will include cutting-edge building automation controls, under-floor air distribution, direct/indirect LED lighting, a high-performance curtain-wall system and occupancy/daylight sensors. Floor-to-ceiling glass will allow for maximum natural light penetration as well as spectacular views. The building will also generate power via a rooftop photovoltaic solar array.
“By focusing our development efforts on underutilized space, we are not only driving economic development, with a landmark building that will house nearly 3,000 jobs, but we’re also helping shape East Bayfront into a new beautiful neighbourhood,” Menkes says.
WPP, a London, England-based multinational advertising and public relations firm, will become the anchor tenant at the Innovation Centre, occupying 260,000 sq. ft. – more than 60 per cent of the building.
“The Waterfront Innovation Centre is the workplace of the future, supporting Waterfront Toronto’s mandate to make Toronto’s waterfront synonymous with innovation,” says Helen Burstyn, Chair of the Board, Waterfront Toronto. “We’re thrilled to celebrate this milestone occasion with Menkes, as it demonstrates how we’re providing the enabling conditions and infrastructure to attract private sector development that catalyzes the business and job growth necessary to make our Toronto and Ontario more competitive on a global scale.”
Expected occupancy is 2021.